George Halpin was appointed Inspector of Works for the Corporation for Preserving and Improving the Port of Dublin in 1800. He was a builder by trade, with no academic engineering qualifications.He was responsible for supervising various engineering works around Dublin Port.
When the Corporation took over responsibility for the Irish Lighthouses in 1810, Halpin was appointed Inspector of Lighthouses as well as Inspector of Works.
Prior to 1810, the building,maintenance, and operation of lighthouses was carried out by contractors.
Under Halpin’s direction the Corporation established an effective management structure,standardised the level of service, and regularised the employment of lighthouse keepers. Gradually during the nineteenth century a proper coast lighting infrastructure was put in place.
In 1810 there were only 14 lighthouses around the Irish Coast. By 1867, when responsibility was transferred to the Commissioners of Irish Lights, there were 72. George Halpin supervised the construction of most of the 58 additional lighthouses. He also oversaw the modernisation and re-equipping of the previously existing lighthouses. This was a remarkable achievement.
George Halpin died suddenly in July 1854 while carrying out lighthouse inspections. His age at the time of death was 75 years.